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8 Summer Steps for Healthy Living

Improve your health with steps so simple you'll barely notice the effort.

6. Vacation Time!

Improve your heart health: take advantage of summer's slower schedule by using your vacation time to unwind.

Vacations have multiple benefits: They can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones such as cortisol, which contributes to a widening waist and an increased risk of heart diseaseheart disease.

7. Alcohol: Go Lite

Summer's a great time to skip drinks with hard alcohol and choose a light, chilled alcoholic beverage (unless you are pregnant or should not drink for health or other reasons).

A sangria (table wine diluted with juice), a cold beer, or a wine spritzer are all refreshing but light. In moderation -- defined as one to two drinks daily -- alcohol can protect against heart disease.

8. Sleep Well

Resist the urge to stay up later during long summer days. Instead pay attention to good sleep hygiene by keeping the same bedtime and wake-up schedule and not drinking alcohol within three hours of bedtime.

It's also a good idea to avoid naps during the day unless you take them every day at the same time, for the same amount of time.

There they are: Eight super simple ways to boost your health this summer. Try one or try them all. They're so easy you won't even know they're -- shhhh -- good for you.

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Reviewed on June 17, 2010

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